Monthly Archives: September 2016

Summer Remainder

Musc Monoi

Musc Monoi

When you divide the lengthening nights by the dwindling sunlight of the days the remainder is what’s left of summer.  We used to call it Indian Summer, probably because it was the last of the growing season in this part of the world, a time the native peoples still  used for gardening. Myself I begin to worry about the dahlias and tomatoes during cold nights.

I like to to use up the last samples I have of summer florals during the warm days.  Those samples are not going to be right a month from now.  Today it’s Musc Monoi which Parfums de Nicolai gave me in Paris. I think they should sell it as an Eau Fraiche though the scent’s currently one of the line’s Eaux de Toilettes Continue reading

Woody Oriental-Oriental Woody

Nuit de Noel in old advertising

Nuit de Noel in old advertising

Woody perfumes are not so popular with women.  Don’t ask me why. I am one of the out-lying  oddities who like wood.  I wear vetiver and leather and chypres and all sorts of dark, dry things in winter.  You might think from the description that I was kindling some kind of aromatic fire, but it’s simply personal taste.

There is a small, repeat small, group of perfumes that lie right on the line between orientals and chypres.  I’m not discussing ambery orientals here.  Those are resin-y or incense heavy perfumes. The ones I’m writing about today don’t belong to that tribe.  They may contain some amber in the dry off, but they are not really amber perfumes. Continue reading

What the Bees Smell

Squash bees at work

Squash bees at work

My heliotrope was a big disappointment to me this year.  The seeds were ordered from Monticello and when they germinated and grew to plant-hood what did I find?  A great big bush the height of my waist with  feathery heads of purple and then lavender flowers that did not have any scent.

Color me disappointed.  But although I may have been cheated of my almond and sugar and cherry perfume, the bees were in heaven.  The bees and the butterflies were all over my heliotrope practically from the very first day it came into flower in July.  The bees evidently don’t care what human noses smell, they have their own standards of attractiveness.  Which makes me wonder what is it really that bees smell? Continue reading

Should Your Perfume Reflect Your Life?

Should Your perfume reflect you?

Should Your perfume reflect you?

There’s some very good advice out there for anyone who wears clothes (most of us, most of the time) and it’s that we should not buy anything that doesn’t fit in with our activities.  This means what it sounds like.  If you live in jeans and that’s what your life requires, or you are seldom out of Athleisure then don’t go buying the  vintage brocade ballgown from Oscar de la Renta circa 1985. Though who wouldn’t want to rock a train in  the coffee aisle of Shoprite?

Perfume though is different, or let’s say it ought to be.  You can’t see a mismatch between someone’s dreams and someone’s aspirations, you can only smell them.  This is probably what Roja Dove means when he says that “perfume can lie for you”, and it may be what is meant by those perfumers who claim a woman should have a perfume for “courage”.  Continue reading